The Atlantic

The Desperate Search for Lebanon's Mass Graves

“Everyone knows someone who went missing. But they don’t speak about these things.”
Source: Mohamed Azakir / Reuters

BEIRUT—In a neighborhood in east Beirut, you’ll come across a nondescript parking lot, backed up on one side by an Ottoman-era house and on another by a sleek high-rise, casting its shadow across a mix of old shops and upscale design stores below. It was from inside one of these old shops in the late 1970s—a few years into Lebanon’s long, violent civil war—that Avedis Manoukian, a shop owner, saw the trucks loaded with dead bodies roll up to what is now the parking lot;  back then, it was an empty, dirt-covered patch. “He kept telling us, ‘Today, they came with bulldozers and dumped some more corpses there, covered them with earth. Then they did it again, then they did it again,’” Aline Manoukian, Avedis’s daughter, recalled when we spoke. As a young girl, she would visit her father’s store and look out onto the lot,

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